3 Replies Latest reply on Jul 9, 2017 9:38 PM by gomerpyle3333

    Need advice for extracting a figure from complex background


      I'm working with footage of a drummer, and I need to isolate him and his kit from the background in order to apply effects on him and put a custom background.  However, the background is not one solid color, so keying happens in tiny splotches--not useful at all.  Is Mocha good for something like this?  Does anyone have tips on how best to achieve this? Rotoscoping is so difficult because of the complex shape of the kit, and the fact that the roto doesn't stay intact beyond the current frame (despite dragging the roto span to cover the duration.  Here's a jpeg for reference:




      Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 9.13.42 PM.png

        • 1. Re: Need advice for extracting a figure from complex background
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          You can of course "roto" it - with masks and other tools by hand. You need to work on your techniques and generalized understanding of terms and processes, rather than getting locked into tools.



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          • 2. Re: Need advice for extracting a figure from complex background
            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            The most efficient technique depends on the camera movement and action in the shot. Automated tools like RotoBrush are probably not going to work very well and hand roto is going to be painful and tedious. Sometimes you can use a combination of rotoscoping and procedural mattes to clean things up. If there is camera movement in the shot sometimes motion stabilizing the shot is helpful. From the frame you submitted you're not going to be able to do this with just one mask. You'll want to use a single mask for each area of detail. When I am faced with this kind of roto by hand work I usually put a contrasting color solid above the footage, switch the blend mode to screen so I can see through the matte, then start editing my masks. Maybe this will give you some ideas:

            You also might be able to apply some severe color manipulation to a copy of the original footage to help generate a procedural matte for some of the edges. Something like this may be a place to start.

            Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 4.56.15 AM.png

            The black edges generated by the curves and Colorama adjustments would be combined with hand roto to generate a track matte that would be applied to the original footage. Anything you can do to help refine the edges will speed up rotoscoping.


            I hope this helps. That is going to be an expensive shot to rotoscope.

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            • 3. Re: Need advice for extracting a figure from complex background
              gomerpyle3333 Level 1

              Thank you all for your answers. Right now I am trying to learn the proper rotoscoping through online videos since I admit I was using it intuitively.  I appreciate your help!  Also, I had not thought to use colorama, though I had tried curves. I am going to test out this technique later.